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Seeking forgiveness for the past

Dear Abby: My ex-husband and I divorced seven years ago. He has remarried, and I also recently married again. He is still bitter toward me. His emotional abuse was partly to blame for our split, although I was not entirely without fault.

Two of my children hold me responsible for the divorce and continually throw my mistakes back in my face. I'm afraid of losing contact with my grandchildren every time one of my kids becomes upset about the past.

I have been to counseling, but was told I just have to be happy with me. Is there a way my children can finally forgive me for the past?

-- Human in Ontario, Canada

Dear Human: If they are determined that blame for the divorce falls solely on you, while absolving your emotionally abusive husband, nothing you or I can do will change their minds.

You have paid your therapist good money for the sensible advice you received, so please heed it. Concentrate on your own life, and far more happiness will result.

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Using common sense

Dear Abby: Many letters you print come from women who seem shocked because they've ended up with men who have little or no character. However, I have never dated a man who could hide his true colors longer than six months.

You often advise these women to seek counseling or an attorney, but for the millions of women who haven't yet made these mistakes, how about a shout-out for prevention? Amazingly, not getting legally attached and not allowing yourself to become pregnant by a man you've known only a few weeks isn't considered common sense anymore.

What percentage of women's problems do you think could be avoided if, for the first year of dating someone, they used birth control 100 percent of the time and didn't rush to get married?

-- Perplexed in Peoria

Dear Perplexed: I'd say about 50 percent -- but I may be underestimating by a long shot.

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